A new year brings a renewal of spirit and focus and the feeling of excitement for what the year may bring. That's the motivation behind this list.

Restaurants, stores, ideas, places for fun. Brand new, re-imagined or otherwise. These are the 5 things I would love to see happen in Rockford in 2018.

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1. Cheesecake Factory

There's been much debate about what chain restaurants Rockford needs and this one seems to be the one I hear most often.


2. Trendier shoe stores (for men and women)

I love shoes. I know I'm a man and shouldn't be as excited as I am to go shoe shopping, but I am. I enjoy the stores we already have, but I'd like more brand specific stores. I love Steve madden shoes and wear them almost exclusively.


3. A Restaurant-style Movie Theater

In some cities they're called Brew & View. It's a theater that serves food and adult beverages. Some even have couches, love seats and recliners.


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4. Trader Joes

There has been talk of Rockford getting one of these for years. I think it's about time.You need to watch this video. You will be surprised by what you learn.

Kum & Go via Facebook

5. A Kum & Go Gas Station/Convenience Store

I'll never forget how much I laughed in my car when I saw one of these in Iowa. Sometimes I'm so immature and I'd love one of these in Rockford. Every time I need a little giggle, this is where I'd get gas.

What would you like to see brought to the Stateline area this year?